Young People and Politics



Young People and Politics

Welcome to the circle "Young People and Politics"! In this circle, we invite everyone to discuss how young people can participate in politics, what skills do they need to acquire to advance in politics and what are the obstacles for their participation.

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TUGBA's picture

V♀TE WOMEN IN POLITICS V♀TE is an organization dedicated to help women to run for office and to be elected around the world. V♀TE is non-partisan organization, and all trainings and program is FREE to the women candidates around the world. The organization runs by individual donations and volunteer work. V♀TE Women In Politics’ mission is to help out to the women to run for political office. V♀TE is dedicated to helping women build the skills and infrastructure they need to become more effective leaders in political world and inspiring young women to participate in politics and run for office. V♀TE aims to build a worldwide network of women who are running for office or currently serving in public office, while training young women to enter the political field. V♀TE helps candidates in the following ways: Providing intensive political training and support to help candidates build a successful & winner campaigns; Providing strategic support to campaigns by advising and working one to one with the candidates on planning, fundraising, message development, media and political strategy. TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE! We are getting ready for our training and program in Albania. The booklet " Running for Office" is done in English and now translating in Albanian. Coming from your suggestions,we have also created a blog that you can write, update, share your ideas and suggestions so please check it out! Women In Politics is now on Twitter: At our blog and twitter, we will also update you from Albania in May and June, be in touch! We are also updating our website Thanks for your support and help! Tugba Kalafatoglu, Founder V♀TE Women In Politics Feel free to e-mail me at

TUGBA's picture

Dear Iknowpolitics Members, We are getting ready for our training and program in Albania. The booklet " Running for Office" is done in English and now translating in Albanian. Coming from your suggestions, we have also created a blog that you can write, update, share your ideas and suggestions so please check it out! Women In Politics is now on Twitter: At our blog and twitter, we will also update you from Albania in May and June, so please keep in touch! We are also updating our website Thanks for your support and help! As always be in touch! Send your e-mails to me directly Tugba Kalafatoglu V♀TE Women In Politics

TUGBA's picture

Dear Iknowpolitics Members,V♀te Supporters and Future World Leaders, We are in 2009 and still there are few women leaders in the world,we need to do something and work together ! To achieve this goal is not so difficult, together we can do it ! We really like to hear from you! Please be in touch with us how we can work together,share your ideas and suggestions! Happy International Women’s Day! Tugba Kalafatoglu VOTE – Together we can make a difference!

TUGBA's picture

Dear iKNOWPolitics Members, 2008 is ending and 2009 is here, and there are so many things to do. As I sent you on my previous message about the website - VOTE is on but we did not receive the e-mails from you yet. We need to be active, it used to be so many discussions here but now not much, please continue to be active so that we can achieve our goals as more women in politics. If we work together we can reach our goal. I wish you a great new year, may your New Year 2009 bring time for reflection and renewal, time for celebrations,time for discovery, time for dreams and TIME FOR MORE WOMEN IN POLITICS and May Health, Happiness and Good Times greet you each day of the year! Also please visit the website at and fill out the form at get involved section, we also have a group at facebook called "young women in politics", please be involved. I am looking forward to hearing from you and PLEASE BE INVOLVED and BE IN TOUCH! TOGETHER WE CAN MAKE A DIFFERENCE AND LET'S MAKE 2009 IS OUR YEAR TO HELP OUT MORE WOMEN TO BE ELECTED IN THE WORLD! Best Wishes, Tugba Kalafatoglu VOTE -

Bisumbula - lutha's picture

Merci beaucoup Tubga pour ton message. Nous allons tous nous impliquer pour aider les jeunes à briguer les postes de décision. Mais il faut d'abord commencer par un éveil de conscience car les jeunes généralement ne s'implique pas en politique croyant que c'est une affaire des adultes et des vieux. Si nous voulons impliquer davantage la jeunesse en politique, nous devons la sensibiliser sur l'impact de sa participation et je crois que le site est un atout majeur pour cette sensibilisation. BISUMBULA - LUTHA Chargée de la section femme et enfant du Rodhecic et de Stand up for peace.

luisgutierrez's picture

The Sustainable Development Paradox

I am doing some independent research on gender equality and sustainable development, and publishing an open access newsletter.. This is what I am doing. Below is a link to the current issue. Take care, Luis ---------------------------- The January 2009 issue of the E-Journal of "Solidarity, Sustainability, and Nonviolence" has been posted. As always, it is open access. Simply click the following link: The Sustainable Development Paradox A series of articles on "dimensions of sustainable development" is being published. The January 2009 issue shows the impossibility of integrating the social, economic, and political dimensions of sustainable development unless "homo economicus" becomes "homo solidarius." Please post and/or forward this notice to friends and colleagues who might be interested in the complex issues of human development, international solidarity, and environmental sustainability. See the archive for links to previously posted issues (annotated with content outlines): May 2005 to December 2008 The current economic and environmental crises confirm the importance of the issues we are researching. Any feedback is deeply appreciated. Sincerely, Luis _____________ Luis T. Gutierrez, Ph.D. Editor, Solidarity, Sustainability, and Nonviolence
TUGBA's picture

Dear IKNOWPOLITICS Members, As I sent you a message few weeks ago regarding a website that I am working on, hopefully it will be ready next week. For some of you did not receive the message or new, let's tell you about it. This website called VOTE and the website address is , the purpose of the website is to help women who are running for office. We also included a part in the website 'YOUR VOICE', and today I like to ask you to share your stories with other women on the website. This website will be free and anyone can get the info and later will put live trainings too. So I also need your help to give me your feedbacks too. Looking forward to hearing from you. Thanks for your support! Together we can make a difference in the world! Tugba Kalafatoglu

Eliana Frantz de Macedo's picture

Wanted Tugba! Desire that in 2009, together, can dream high more: to place in practical its dreams and of all we, women engaged in the politics, the social welfare and educational of the children, in the world all. That let us can, meetings, to find a form to finish with the infantile mortality, that in clic of fingers, in only 30 seconds, dies a child in the world. I am journalist, student of right and make after-graduation in Civil law and another one, after-graduation in Education in the distance EAD. My dream: to help to save the children of the world. As I lost my only son, in 12 of March of 2008, still I am very sensible. Of cert but that my mission: will be to make master graduation in Social Sciences or Politics, later, in Right. Reason: to have an active voice, working in favor of the common good, therefore at the moment I am independent, but I must come back to work soon. The necessary world of the women, more than what never; the necessary world of health: environment; basic sanitation; healthful feeding; to finish with the malnutrition; to place the children in the school. Thus, in my dream, I see a world better, without violence; with more sapience and love; to the next one. It always counts on me, in what it will be able, I will help. Happy 2009, for you! Happy New Year for all the women in the politics and the ones that will be becoming involved and in causes jousts, for the world-wide peace. Tank You! Eliana Frantz de Macedo

wakabari's picture

How can I be involved as a volunteer in Kenya to reach out to the women in the rural areas?"

The rural women in Kenya have been sidelined in the politics of the day that in so many ways affect them directly. For instance, the government recently established a women enterprise fund meant to empower women economically. Due to lack of information, that fund was underutilized and many women in the rural areas taken advantage of by the elite. I was wondering whether, I can be recruited as a volunteer to reach to those women in the remote areas in form of training or awareness campaigns. I would really love to do this!

wakabari's picture

I am young Kenya women. I am very disturbed by the current motion of no confidence with the Kenya's finance minister, Hon Amos Kimuya. A committee set by the Prime Minister to investigate the Sale of Grand Regendecy Hotel by the finance minister recommended that Mr Kimuya and the Central Bank governor should step aside to allow investigation. Previous, the CBK was governed by an acting governor, who was a lady. To my best of knowledge, that lady was never mentioned in any graft deals while she was in the office. Further still, the current ministries headed by women have not been mentioned heavily on corrupted cases as those headed by male colleague. Why, then, can't the president appoint a female minister to head the finance docket? We need more women in leadership positions than men. To me, they are more trustworthly with public resources compared to their male counterparts.

Bisumbula - lutha's picture

The system is a system. It is not good to be partial. It is not because of your sex you do not do corruption. It does not depend on sex, but rather depends on the system. Regardless if you are a female or a male, if it is in the system you can do that. We don't fight against men. We stand up for our rights. It is good to increase the participation of women in politics, but we always get deceived about their attitudes because these problems are in the system. Don't worry because this problem is solvable, but it would be more possible for women to solve women’s problems when they are in politics. BISUMBULA – LUTHA

TUGBA's picture

Dear iKNOW Politics participants, We have been writing and talking more than a year now about women in politics. As you have known that I have posted many times regarding the women participation in politics around the world. Especially encouraging young women to be involved in politics. So I decided to do something - a website that will be a guide to the women in the world! I will start a website to help out young women and all women around the world to be elected. In this website, the women can find all the info as how they can speak at rally, how they raise money, how they can write their slogans, how they can prepare their fliers, how they can do GOTV etc. The women around the world, they can click the website easily, and they can find all the info they need! I need your help! This will be free to women. I need your help as your inputs what we can put to the website, your stories, your experiences so on but most importantly I need your support to this idea. I am looking forward to hearing from you! Please send me an e-mail to Thanks for your support! Tugba Kalafatoglu

CaitlinHopping's picture

Hillary Clinton's recent win in New Hampshire prompted a storm of speculation from the media and commentators about the impact of identity politics on the primaries. As a young, college-educated woman, I’m in a demographic group that is torn between the inspirational rhetoric of change and hope from Obama’s campaign and the equally exciting prospect of shattering the ultimate marble ceiling of US politics. The responses to Clinton's infamous 'crying' incident have angered me, not just because they are baseless attacks on the candidate herself, but also because they have resurrected the notion that women voters are irrational and vote based on emotion (the explanation given by many being that Hillary cried, so women ran out to vote for her). Much less press has been given to the suggestion that perhaps a lack of precedent for female representation in Iowa may have something to do with the Iowa/NH discrepancy.

I think the desire to 'prove' that women don't vote based on emotions has caused many young women to shy away from supporting Senator Clinton. Voting for Senator Clinton because, or at least in part because of her gender, is not considered to be a valid reason by feminists of my generation. This troubles me because I don’t think we’re anywhere near the point in US politics where we can say that the playing-field is equal for men and women. I really wonder how desiring to have my gender represented in government became an ‘irrational’ reason for voting for a female candidate. By trying to be gender-blind, young feminists are allowing the dominant male power-structure of US politics to continue. I am grateful for Gloria Steinem’s recent op-ed in the NY Times, but I lament the fact that many women my age no longer see Steinem’s views as relevant. I can only hope that the media backlash against the ‘crying’ episode, and the surge of excitement and possibility that Clinton’s win in NH produced, even among Obama supporters, will cause young women to pause and reconsider.

TUGBA's picture

Happy 2008 to everyone; I think that, as more women become involved in politics in the coming year, we need to plan and work toward a goal.

It has been months since I have written and posted my first message here. We need to support each other. When I was in DC, I met NDI and told them the same thing: that we have to plan a training to help women who run for office and we can do this via the internet too, just downloading from here.

This is happening in university education around the world, so why can't we train women via the internet too?

Ladies! We need to help each other out. We need to network and put together our powers to help out other women to run for political positions and to be elected.

From the start I always believed that if there are more women in the world as elected officials, there will be less war!

So I looking forward to hear your ideas. I believe that together we can do this! Let's help more women get elected in the world!

Tugba Kalafatoglu

TUGBA's picture

Let's get together to support women to be elected. We are in the year 2007 and still not many women are elected in the world. So we have to do something! We really do.
There are so many women who are highly qualified, but do not have money or courage to run for the office. They are great candidates and we have to help them out. If we have more elected women, the governments and policies around the world will become better. So please let's unite!
I spent in the United States more than 10 years and I was involved in politics and campaigns. There are many organizations in the US that support women candidates. So let's do the same thing worldwide!!!!
International support to women, especially young women, is important.
As a young woman, I ask you to unite and open the road and provide support to women candidates.

It is NOT late!

I am ready to do it and will give all my support! Let's do it not only on words, but do in action.

I am looking forward to hearing from you.

Tugba Kalafatoglu

Helious's picture

Every success takes a step. It was thoght to be an impossiblity but a few women have proved this wrong. It is high time women take up political leadership roles- my reason? By nature they are good at always turning things for the best, always.
Women, your time has come and it is NOW!!!

Sandra Navarro's picture

Solange and all my dearest friends,

I totally agree with you. Apart from one little thing; women (in my country) got the power already (ministers, congresswomen, NGO offices) (with a very few exceptions) just want it to get there to be known, for the money, to fill the quotas in the political parties. They do not have any kind of comprise with the poor people voted for them to give them health, education, jobs, security. Unfortunelly lately in my country right now every week a kid under 4 years old is killed. Prisoners escape from the trip from yell to the courthouses.

The new generation of women does want a better future for our kids and our country. I am ready to be part of this new generation.


TUGBA's picture

Dear Sandra,

As I was reading your post, just hit me one more time that we are really need to do something soon and fast.
we need to increase the subscribers of this network, let the people know what we want to achieve. I am going to write this week to Unifem and other women organizations too.

We need to help out to the women who will be there for the people who vote for them and make them elected.

So let's contact to the organizations and let's spread the word. And


Lina Mata's picture

This is my first posting in iKNOW Politics and I am really pleased reading all the enthousiastic comments from women leaders from all over the world.
I truthly believe that is not only our right, but our duty to promote women leadership and gender equality.
But I'm not talking just about activism, activism is good in order to communicate ideas. I think that We have to go beyond mere activism, we have to serve as (referent points) in a specific topic and seek the correct political action which can produce real changes to real problems.
3 THINGS for women leaders: Knowledge, Networking & Political Action.

Keep working ladies!!

Best Regards,

Youth Leadership Program-Costa Rica

Edwin Nebolisa's picture

Dear Tugba:
I truly buy your idea but let the women themselves first show the sign of their interest in leadership positions, then we will be talking of funding them.

It is also in my opinion that organizations need to come up with what i call "women peace activism", in other to strengthen and encourage women and as well be able to interpret the constitution and other relevant international conventions and protocols to them. With these mechanisms in place, we will now be talking of funding.

Edwin Nebolisa
Director of Programs

Africa in Democracy and Good Governance (ADG)

TUGBA's picture

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams" - ELEANOR ROOSEVELT -

Dear Edwin,

Thanks for your response and support. As you have said that funding is the secondary , I think that first of all we have to support to the women around the world to be interested in politics and help them to be ready a great leader and to run for offices so let's unite to help them out.

I totally agree with your idea of women peace activism. So let's start working toward that idea and get more women around the world to help out and work together.

I am ready to give all my support.


Edwin Nebolisa's picture

Greetings from Amilcar Calbral!
Thanks for that mail; I totally believe that together we can do it.
Right now, I am in the heart of Bissau, capital city of Guinea Bissau, the country that has just come out of war. Among the many things I will be assessing in this war ravaged country is the level of women’s engagement in political, economic and cultural life.

Through the help of my friend, a member of parliament at whose invitation I am here, I have had the opportunity to visit the Vice President of the Guinea parliament who is a female, and the president of the Guinea Bissau Women's Federation. Since my arrival here on Sunday night, from what I have seen though, it is still too early to come to a conclusion. The level of women's participation is somehow encouraging, but yet political maturity is highly needed.

I do hope to introduce the iKNOW Politics site to these women.

I will keep you all updated, together we can do it right.

Edwin Nebolisa
Amilcar Calbral

TUGBA's picture

"The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams" - ELEANOR ROOSEVELT -

Maybe I dream big but I really hope that we can get together all women who are in politics to help out to other women.

There are many women out there who does not have courage to get the point because there are so many men in the parliament so they do not have confident on themselves so we can help them out as training them to be a great leader!

I do political consulting internationally so I am ready to help them out to be a great leader from A to Z.

I really believe that if we have more women involved in politics, it will be less war and conflict in the world!

iearntnt's picture

I am of the view that confict resolution should be included to allow those with little knowledge of politics to learn and understand how to deal with conficts always present while interacting with people

How can we get help on this matter?

TUGBA's picture

We can hold training and lectures from which women can get information and learn. We can do that as women in the field, we can volunteer and carry on the training around the world. I am in!

Let's hear from other women too, what do you think? Any suggestions?

Solange's picture

Dear all!!!

I've been reading all your posts with great pleasure :) For a young woman trying to get into politics, it is very motivating to see women moving a lot around the world.

I agree that we need to provide training and support. Also I think that we need to network inside our own countries, create links between women in power positions and those young women that are starting their carriers (like me).

Last days, and thank to all the ideas you have been posting, I concluded that networking is one step for young people like me. I already started a project focused on young women in politics (and by politics I understand not only those that are parliamentarians, but also those that have power positions in consultancy firms or at related NGOs). I think this way we can get "personal experiences" of those young women that have this position, we can strengthen our position in the country and it could be a very powerful tool when political parties get the positions during the elections.

What I've to look for is funds. I just started, but I really would like your suggestions on this issue because I know some of you have experience on this matter.

Thank you very much for this very useful network :)


Solange Márquez E.

Joyce Neu's picture

Dear Edwin,

This is my first posting to iKNOW Politics so I add my remarks rather humbly to this discussion of women's engagement and success in gaining political office. I am pleased to see your support for women's education and for strengthening women's knowledge to be in better
positions to attain high ranking political office. However, in reading your email, I am reminded of a famous American who fought for gender equality all of her life, Bella Abzug, who said "Our struggle today is not to have a female Einstein get appointed as an assistant professor [that is, at the bottom of the professorial ranking system]. It is for an incompetent woman to get as quickly promoted as an incompetent male."

Edwin, while I think the world would be a better place if men and women in public office understood the need for peace, had skills related to diplomacy and peacemaking, and
understood the foundations of democratic societies and good governance, given the current global situation with corruption, greed, and war, it is clearly not the case that
many of the men elected to public office currently have those credentials. Why would we set such limitations for women if not to prevent them from achieving positions
of power? Sadly, I think we women too often buy into this idea that we are lacking in skills and thus are not qualified (for whatever it is we want). Thankfully, more and more women are realizing this is subterfuge for keeping them out of power and these women (and men) are helping to open the doors for the rest of us.

Joyce Neu
Joan B. Kroc Institute for Peace & Justice
University of San Diego
San Diego, California - USA

pnelson's picture

Do we just need more women in power and in elected office, or do we need a few excellent women in power and in elected office? Which is the better strategy for increasing the number and quality of women in politics in the long-term? The ideal would certainly be both: that there be many more women in office, all of whom are excellent. But the dichotomy does exist. Incompetent men are regularly supported by their political parties, but there is a great outcry when a party supports a woman who is less than perfect. That said, in order for women to prove themselves in office (and this is very much still the case) they must be excellent. Unfortunately, we are still so much in the nascent phase of women's political activism that each woman in office is still judged extremely harshly, as if people are determining whether women should be in politics based on the performance of each woman elected official. This is obviously not fair; noone is using the presence of incompetent men in politics to argue men should not be involved in politics. But it is still a reality. This debate is quite prevalent in women in politics discussions these days, but I have not heard a good answer. For me, I think increasing the number of women in politics overall creates a broader pool of women politicians who will gain experience and eventually excel, or in the very least train the next generation of women to excel. I believe that women are not by nature better leaders or politicians, nor that men are by nature better leaders or politicians. But I do believe that women bring a voice and a perspective to politics that men can never bring. And for that reason, as well, do I feel we need more women's voices at the table.
Piper Stege Nelson

Nawaz Phulpoto's picture

Being a citizen of Pakistan , I would like to express my concern about Pakistani politics and related issues. I feel that this forum is a transparent forum to discuss the agenda. Please join me to lead the analysis.

Thank you,

Nomenita's picture

nomenita chetia

If we scan through the socio-cultural and political landscape of the sub-continent it is almost the same. In the political front, we can see that at some point in the political history of these countries.

These women leaders are not ordinary leaders, each of them has a grand legacy behind them and a mass following, believing their ideologies and promises. Millions of ordinary women follow these leaders and hope that they will be able to address and understand their problems, which man leaders could not. But the biggest irony is that, they were not able to address those issues and seen to fall back into those bandwagon of being deaf and mute leaders whose only issue is to control their vote banks. They are observed to go to the extent of propagating and patronizing those extremist view points so that they do not hurt the sentiments of so called - propagators of extremist views to be sure of being reelected.

Ultimately we see that those women leaders – who were supposed to be the harbinger of change and hope for millions of ordinary women… as just another ordinary political leader with false promises.

Nurgul Djanaeva's picture

I agree that this is wide spread all over the world, and it is not only Pakistani phenomenon. Such models of political behavior are produced by models of our relations with those women in power. As much as we gave them before they got power as much we got from them after they are in power. Such correlation (the more we give time, commitment, knowledge sharing and support before elections and their struggle for power) the more we have them in return. Practically few cases in the world exist (if any) when long-term (at least two years) cooperation with massive preparatory long-term work was done by women’s NGOs with and for group of women -candidates for posts. Gender socialization is not done beforehand and in return they are becoming traditional politicians with masculine models, because they were not exposed to feminist values on time and during long enough time. It seems that new type of political leaders can emerge from civil society with wide and intensive input from women’s NGOs. Even civil society activists are not automatically sensitive to women’s issues are concerns. Realizing this we started a comprehensive program to address this challenge. It is our hope that four years of the program on which we work now may bring to power those women who want and able to address our concerns. So the shift is needed - we don’t follow women-ready leaders, but we ourselves create women –leaders and are making long-term women’s movement investment in them. In this case we can hope that these leaders will “be able to address and understand women’s problems, which man leaders could not.” Within our program we have included two types of training – capacity building to win elections and capacity building to work for women later when they are in posts (how to work with state budget, how to work on legislation, gender integration, etc.). Our one year of this program implementation experience is showing how challenging this work is. For example, prominent women leaders from women’s groups and in general civil society are not ready to step in political arena for many well known reasons. 50 Women-future parliamentary election candidates network is set up and a supporting network of from women’s NGOs is also set up in Kyrgyzstan. National 50 days campaign for women’s political empowerment (50 days for 50 women for 50%) for this group’s name and image and by women’s NGOs will start in May in Kyrgyzstan.
This response in going to be too long, but the main idea is that women themselves through women’s NGOs start shaping future political behavior of women-MPs. Forum of Women's NGOs of Kyrgyzstan hopes that after 2010 parliamentary elections in Kyrgyzstan women win seats, women will bring people’s and women’s agenda into Parliament. We face a lot of challenges; if you want it will be a pleasure for me to share them. We realize that we can fail, but from our approach we have chances to win. In the program there are many sectors (analytical, lobbying, capacity building, advocacy, networking, financial, etc.) and a number of groups – three think tanks, alliances, etc.
With best regards,
Nurgul Djanaeva
Forum of Women's NGOs of Kyrgyzstan

bsalimova's picture

Dear Solange,

Your question is a very interesting one. Although it is imperative that policy and decision makers create favorable conditions for women to succeed in politics, it is equally important that women leaders realize the importance of self-empowerment through knowledge. In the age of highly competitive political environment, the women leaders and activists should continuously work on strengthening their skills and acquiring new knowledge to succeed. Some of the important skills are networking, public speaking, utilizing media and technological advancements, and fundraising. The iKNOW Politics Library has the following resources that can be useful guides and training materials for women to succeed in politics:

Young women leaders: a real trend or utopia? -

Leadership Inventory -

Seven Tips on Writing a Better Speech -

A Guide to Organizing Public Forums -

Image Building: Working with the Media -

Power Booklet: A Quick DIY on How to Obtain Real Personal Power -

Political Campaign Planning Manual: A Step by Step Guide to Winning Elections -

Preparing for Success: Tools, Methods and Strategies for Electoral Campaigns -

Funding of Political Parties and Election Campaigns in the Americas -

Women's Campaign Manual -

Gender and ICTs -